And they were offended by Him.
But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his household.”
How easy it is to be offended by truth and those who speak it. For the one who is nominally faithful or flat out evil-seeking, the contrast of truth and the one who is living such is offensive and unbearable. Jesus told us, His disciples, that we would be hated by the world. The world hated Him and thus the world will hate us as we honor Him and His truth.
To be offended by Truth is to walk a line into destruction. It is to turn one’s back on true life and eternal salvation. The denial of truth in the pursuit of evil leads to Hell. Jesus made no bones about it. He stated clearly that there is a Hell and then consistently showed how to avoid it and how to inherit Heaven. We speak little of Hell these days and even go out of our way to make excuses for Jesus regarding the things He said regarding evil and it’s path to destruction and eventually Hell. Some within the church of today have even written books explaining away the reality of a place where God does not dwell. This is truly sad for Hell is that place. Jesus was clear about it. Those who reject God, pursue evil and serve the enemy will find this place, unless, of course, they repent and submit themselves to Lord Jesus.
For the rebellious, those who are denying God or simply running from Him, even Heaven would be Hell to them. They want nothing to do with God or His principles for life; so, Father God graciously leaves them to their own choices and allows them the self dignity of choosing to be away from His Presence. In His love, He allows us to choose. Through our choices we will find ourselves either in His presence – or not.
Some who encountered Lord Jesus judged Him and found Him offensive; yet, He never had to judge them. His Word, His presence and His pathos brought them into judgement, as it does all men. To encounter Jesus is to experience judgement and every man must encounter Jesus. We don’t like to be judged – especially in this postmodern world. ‘Don’t Judge Me!’ is our common mantra. Receiving judgement is offensive, especially when the judgement is true. Yet, through Christ’s judgement we are saved for our Judge has become our Savior. He knows our offenses and chooses to freely forgive those who will believe and trust. “He is a good and gracious King”.
We’ve been judged and saved, truly rescued, from the reality that is Hell. Our Judge did not come to condemn. He came to save. There are no words to adequately express the gratitude that results from this truth. We are left in awe, searching for a way to pour out our lives of thanksgiving to Him for eternity.